A Contemporary View of Corporate Finance Theory, Empirical Evidence and Practice
34 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2015 Last revised: 20 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 20, 2016
This paper uses a survey of Australian Corporate Treasurers to shed light on the gap between the theory and practice of corporate finance in Australia. Seven areas are examined: capital structure, payout policy, cash holdings, initial public offerings, seasoned equity offering, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance. We also exploit the Global Financial Crisis to examine the effect of liquidity shocks on a firm’s capital structure choices. We then compare our Australian survey results with results from a comprehensive U.S. survey conducted by Graham and Harvey (2001). Our survey shows that the board of directors play the most important role in determining capital structure decisions and that corporate treasurers play the most important role in cash holding decisions. This contrasts with the academic literature that has typically focused on the role of CEO in both capital structure and cash holdings decisions. In addition, our respondents do not view the tax advantage of interest deductibility to be of first order of importance for debt issuance choices, which contrasts with most of the U.S. empirical studies. Finally, we juxtapose the theory-practice perspective, with a review of the most recent five years (2011-2015) of corporate finance research published in the leading Asia Pacific Basin finance journals.
Keywords: Corporate Finance, Survey, Capital Structure
JEL Classification: G30, G32, G34, G35
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation